The tuition tax that the city of Pittsburgh hoped to implement for all college students attending Pittsburgh schools was supposed to get a vote from the Pittsburgh City Council last night, but a last-minute move to consider another option delayed the proceedings. City Council members want to explore the possibility of working out a financial agreement with nonprofit institutions in the city that would not require students to pay a 1 percent tuition tax, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. There was enough progress in negotiations between City Council members Theresa Smith and Tonya Payne and some of the city's university leaders that the vote was postponed.
What's emerging is "a collaboration between everyone, and that's what it's going to take to resolve the issue," Smith tells the Post-Gazette.
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who is the tuition tax's biggest proponent, supported the postponement of the vote.
"My goal is to come to an agreement with the nonprofit community before the end of the year, and I am more hopeful than ever that we can do that," Ravenstahl wrote in a letter to the council obtained by the Post-Gazette. "It is my hope, if talks continue as they have, that we will have new and strong partners in our efforts to complete our financial recovery."
A few weeks ago, students protested the tax at a City Council meeting, and at least one City Council member was not in favor of it.